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John Wright on Bible cosmology

July 16, 2012 5 comments

In Musings on the ‘Flat Earth and Firmament’, John Wright says, “The more one reads the bible, the more one should notice the primitive cosmological understanding of its authors.” Wright depicts his views on ancient Hebrew cosmology in a colorful graphic, claiming that their conception, which they shared with other peoples of the ancient world, was that the heaven was a solid dome, that supported water above. He quoted the opinion of P. H. Seely, and Jewish writings from the hellenistic era, to support his view. Wright stated:

And so the Hebrews shared the same cosmological ideas as the rest of the Ancient Near East, including Egypt, Babylonia, Canaan, etc. whose writings also reflect the fact.

The firmament as a solid object is confirmed in Job: ‘Can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?’ (Job 37:18), and in Ezekial: ‘Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a firmament, sparkling like crystal, and awesome.’ (Ezekial 1:22). It was regarded as a beautiful feat of engineering (as in fact it is, in a way), and they told God they appreciated it: ‘The heavens are thy handiwork.’ (Psalms 102).

In support for his conclusions Wright cited the book of Enoch, and the Apocalypse of Baruch, where in 3 Apoc. Bar. 3.7, the author speculates on whether the rigid heaven consists of clay, copper or iron.

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Christ’s reign of peace

June 2, 2012 Comments off

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In the 2nd of 15 arguments against the idea that Christ reigns upon the throne of David now, in this article, George Zeller claims that the trouble and warfare in the present world means that Christ is not reigning, as his reign is to be a reign of peace. Zeller wrote:

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Spiritual bogs and miry places of Ezekiel 47:11

May 3, 2012 Comments off

In Acts, Luke mentions a river near the city of Philippi, “where prayer was wont to be made.” [Acts 16:13] In the course of any river, there are likely to be places which are scenic, and peaceful. Rivers in any country may picture the spiritual ideas depicted in the prophetic rivers mentioned in Psalm 46:4, Isaiah 33:21, Ezekiel 47, Joel 3:18, the rivers of living waters in Zechariah 14:8, and the river in Revelation 22:1-2. The mountains of prophecy are similar; the ideas of majestic heights, and landmarks, and durability, are characteristic of mountains anywhere, and are not limited to the mountains and hills of Palestine.

Some commentators, however, suppose that the rivers described in Ezekiel 47 and Zechariah 14 are literal rivers that will exist in Palestine in the future. They miss the spiritual reality that those rivers represent. The spiritual rivers flowing from God’s throne exist in the present age, and their benefits are available now. The claim that literal rivers will flow from the earthly Jerusalem, or another temple yet to be built there, IMO, is nonsense. And, such claims lead to contradictions when the various prophecies about those rivers are compared.
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Sheep, green pastures, and the promised land

April 22, 2012 Comments off

In Scripture, Christians are identified with sheep who are led by Christ to green pastures, and still waters where they may drink. David wrote:

Psalm 23:2
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

In the metaphor of sheep in this psalm, Christ, who is the shepherd, leads his saints to places where they may find plenty of nourishment, and spiritual water to drink. The green pastures suggest that they are taught new things, that have an aspect of freshness and newness, rather than old, familiar things. New wine is a metaphor with a similar meaning in other prophecies. Jesus characterized his teachings as new wine. He said men do not put new wine in old wineskins. [Luke 5:37, NIV] Read more…

When Israel went out of Egypt: Psalm 114

March 2, 2012 4 comments

Psalm 114:1-2
When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;
Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.

Charles H. Spurgeon wrote:— [1]

The meaning of the passage is that the whole people at the coming out of Egypt were separated unto the Lord to be a peculiar people, a nation of priests whose motto should be, “Holiness unto the Lord.” Judah was the Lord’s “holy thing,” set apart for his special use. The nation was peculiarly Jehovah’s dominion, for it was governed by a theocracy in which God alone was King. It was his domain in a sense in which the rest of the world was outside his kingdom. Read more…